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Old November 4th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #1
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Fujinon 17x5 lens

After two days of testing, I just bought the new Fujinon Th17 x 5BRMU lens for my HD100. Here are my initial observations:

Back focus: much easier, with a back focus ring that is machined much better than the one on the stock lens.

Focus tracking: if you get the back focus right, the focus tracks perfectly between telephoto and wide angle. (I had trouble setting back focus with the stock lens, perhaps due to lower resolution; whether a result of this or not, I but still had a lot of problems with focus tracking (or racking) with the stock lens.)

Resolution: Although I don't have a resolution chart to give you numbers, there was a noticable improvement in resolution over the stock lens; I saw this in the star chart, as well as looking at some recorded footage on my 24" progressive scan monitor. I also found the focus assist feature worked farther into the wide angle settings; with some scenes I could use it even at 40mm. Might be due to the better resolution providing more high frequency detail to work with as the lens is widened.

Speed or light: I also gained a solid stop of exposure, actually close to 2 stops. I will do more testing to verify this.

Color and contrast: the color was more saturated and rich than the stock lens; I also perceived slightly more contrast in the images; using the star chart I also noticed a slight improvment in contrast. Might have been the improved resolution.

Breathing: still has some; didn't do a comparison with the stock lens.

Chromatic Aberation: have not yet had a chance to create the conditions that cause it; I'll report back after I do some shooting next week. Have not noticed any yet.

Unfortunately I have not had a chance to compare it to the 13x wide angle lens, but I feel it is well worth the money, and a solid improvement over the stock lens.

The filter threads are 82mm, and the outer shade ring is 85mm, same as the stock lens; about 1/2" longer, and somewhat heavier. I would suggest a lens stabilizing rig, like a set of rods with the lens support piece at the end, to prevent flexing of the lens mount on the camera body, which results in focus changes; those of you with a good matt box already have this problem solved.

Keep the shiny side up.

Gary
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Old November 5th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #2
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Thank you, Gary. That's good news about the better image quality. I've been eyeing that lens since it was announced. $3k, right? Where did you purchased it from?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #3
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George,

A local reseller, Media Tools, in Bellevue Washington. E-mail me direct and I'll give you his phone, address etc.

Gary
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Old November 5th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #4
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Is the narrower focus a problem?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 05:20 PM   #5
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Joe,

Not sure what you mean by narrower focus?

Gary
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Old November 5th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Morris McBeath
Chromatic Aberation: have not yet had a chance to create the conditions that cause it; I'll report back after I do some shooting next week. Have not noticed any yet.
Shoot wide open, or anything from 2.8 - open, stay near the end of the telephoto, and rack focus a little, this will show more CA. Since you are trying to create the condition anyway. ;)

After working with the 13X just tonight for the first time, I'm real interested in what you found with the Fujinon 17X. I imagine the 17X might be better than the 16X simply due to better glass and it's higher price, but it's not going to be a cure for CA altogether. However, the other aspect's you mention make it a consideration.

If you don't mind me asking, about what was the price range you saw (or paid) for the 17X? We are convinced that we will upgrade our lens both for the 250 purchase, as well as our current HD100.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #7
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I think list is around $3300.

I'll have more to report after more shooting in the field. You might say I'll be outstanding in my field.

Sorry.

Gary
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Old November 6th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #8
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Gary, maybe I'm confused, but at full wide, I thought the 17x would be narrower than the 16x.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #9
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The 16x is 5.5mm at its wide end, the 17x is 5mm - hence the 17x is very slightly wider than the stock 16x lens.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 05:49 PM   #10
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Now that we're talking about its wide end.
How is barrel distortion on the 17X5 compared to the stock at wide?
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Old November 6th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #11
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Steven,

Barrell distortion, or what I've always called parallax error, at the same focal length (5.5mm), is just about the same in both lenses. It might be slightly more at 5mm, but I cant really tell for sure just checking against some doorways in the house. In either case it is not excessive enough to be an issue for me. Certainly a lot less than "Pro" level std def lenses I've used.

I've also just checked CA, and although still there, is noticeably less on the 17x than the stock lens.

Remember, these are my observations, and also based on the type of shooting I do. Yours may vary, so I suggest test, test, test.

Gary
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Old November 7th, 2006, 12:05 AM   #12
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Can someone possibly take a picture and "draw" in Photoshop the field of view comparison between the two lenses? I think Tim did something like this with the WA adapter, the 13x wide zoom and the stock lens. Pretty please...?
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Old November 7th, 2006, 12:38 AM   #13
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Is barrel distortion the fish eye effect?
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:43 PM   #14
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OK, this is the last report of my testing on the 17x lens.

Earlier I reported I had gained a stop or two with the new lens over the stock lens. I was in error.

The light outside had changed some, and I took an erroneous reading on my light meter. I just did a controlled test indoors, with tungsten lighting, and both lenses are virtually identical, using the point where zebras just start to show as a reference point.

I know better! Sorry about that.

I am still happy with my purchase, and for the type of shooting I do, breathing is not an issue. Having a super wide angle is also not an issue; although the WCV-82 WA converter does not fit the 17x, I could always snap the stock lens back on with the converter to get that slight extra width.

I would assume if you do a lot of indoor or dramatic shooting, then the 13x or the coming 18x4.2 would be the answer.

Enough of my rambling for one night.

Gary
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:36 AM   #15
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And how's the weight of the 17x5 compared to the 16x5.5 ?

On http://users.telenet.be/wespproductions/wesp-kiezen.htm you can see I'm doing a lot of hand-held shooting and even with 1 or 2 small IDX batteries the camera with standard lens isn't perfectly balanced, so I'm worried about a heavier lens...

Last edited by Werner Wesp; November 8th, 2006 at 09:05 AM.
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